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Just curious, as I am preparing to open a spice shop - I think. Do you use top notch fresh spices when you make your rubs, or just any old jar of spice from the supermarket? This is not a plug for my place, as I won't even tell you where it will be, but I think of myself as a "foodie" who loves BBQ... So whenever possible I get the freshest stuff I can find. And I really feel like I can taste the difference. Plus, I tend to use a heavier hand than most folks at home, I think.
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I often buy bulk organic spices for my rubs and general cooking, typically a half pound or a pound at a time for the ones I use most frequently, especially different types of ground chiles. Some of the ground chiles I use in my rubs are rarely found in grocery stores.

The better quality brands from the grocery store, such as the Spice Island and McCormick herbs and spices that come in small glass bottles, I have found to be of good quality. They do tend to be rather pricey compared to the products offered by some of the online boutique spice shops.

I'll buy certain bulk spices from warehouse stores. Costco's Tellicherry black pepper is a favorite of mine. It is wonderfully pungent and aromatic, and I prefer it over most other black pepper I've tried. The granulated garlic, powdered onion, and dehydrated onion from either Costco or Sam's are also fine for me. I don't buy any herbs from those sources.

I don't buy things like pickling spice or spice blends from anyone, because I make my own.

The main thing for me is that herbs and spices I use be reasonably fresh. The fresher the better. I'll throw out a jar that has been sitting opened in the cupboard for more than a year.
Originally posted by Papa Deuce:
Just curious, as I am preparing to open a spice shop - I think. Do you use top notch fresh spices when you make your rubs..
I certainly appreciate better spices. There's no spice-only store in my area so I order online. Prefer dried leaf, seed or nut to toast/grind myself when I can get it, the fresher the better. If someone had a shop nearby that had quality stuff, I would probably use it fairly often - buying smaller amounts to keep fresher on hand.

Good luck with your venture. Send me some samples Cool
Before retiring and becoming "retarded" and buying a cafe & tea room, I was a sales manager for an industrial instrumentation company. I visited and instrumented a bunch of spice manufacturers, to include McCormicks and I would venture to say, based only on my observations, that high volumn retailers like Sams and Costco have the freshest spices on the market. They buy them, they sell them and, if they don't sell, trash them.

Smaller operations can not afford to do this and will hold spices longer. Again, just my observation.


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